How Do Effective Leaders Drive Business Agility?

How Do Effective Leaders Drive Business Agility

In a recent study by Accenture titled, Leadership Imperatives for an Agile Business, the authors conclude that building the right leadership team is essential to fostering agility. In the agile organizations they studied, leaders typically excelled in the following three dimensions:

  1. Vision and strategy
  2. Relationship between leaders and followers
  3. Driving results

Perhaps the most critical of these three dimensions is the relationship between leaders and followers. As Accenture describes it, this dimension relates to “how leaders leverage the energy and talents of others by finding the right people, enlisting their support, building and motivating teams, and resolving conflicts.” The reason why this dimension is so important is that it directly impacts the other two. Without a relationship to their followers, leaders would see a dramatic decline in their ability to cast a vision, create strategy, and drive results.

Check out Accenture’s checklist of How Effective Leaders Drive Business Agility and see how each key action either depends on or contributes to a quality relationship between leaders and followers.


Leadership AspectKey QuestionsKey Actions
Develop a long-term strategy built for changeHow can you learn to see opportunity in uncertainty?Ensure there are ongoing opportunities—workshops, conferences, group discussions—to consider trends and emerging possibilities.
Build effective leadership at all levelsHow can you cascade effective leadership traits throughout the organization?Involve potential successors in some key executive meetings and workshops.
Create leadership ensemblesHow do you make leadership more flexible and adaptable?Deploy executives and managers in a network that can shift and re-form to address new challenges. Leverage temporary teams and task forces to tackle particular issues and opportunities.
Encourage diversity of thoughtHow can you think not only for today but also for tomorrow?Introduce executives from other industries into the leadership team to broaden its perspective. Bring in outside thinkers—academics, researchers, authors, etc.— as a means of shaking up conventional thinking.
Make rapid decisions and executeWhat structures do you need to have in place to speed up decision making and then the implementation of decisions?Reinforce senior leadership alignment around critical topics so that, when you need to make rapid decisions, you are already aligned. Create a more flexible operating model that enables you to move resources efficiently from one set of initiatives to another.
Establish accountabilityHow can you reward results, not just activity?Clarify expectations, roles, and responsibilities. Take action immediately when issues arise.

Looking for More?

Are you looking for more ways to build organizational agility and develop your leaders? SIGMA is here to help! We provide individual and group coaching, custom consulting, and succession planning services. To learn more about our solutions and how SIGMA can help your leadership team through the pandemic, click here, or contact us below for more information.

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Glen Harrison is an organizational transformation consultant and succession planning expert. Over the course of his career, Glen has worked with one-third of the Fortune 500 list and with every level of government in Canada and the United States. Having worked with numerous clients to build robust succession plans from the ground up, Glen has extensive experience in the application of SIGMA’s products and services to help organizations realize their people potential.

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